Over 110 residents met in a packed Westbourne Grove Church on Weds August 16 in a meeting of NHH residents and Genesis Residents.
107 voted against the proposed merger between Notting Hill Housing Trust and Genesis, with no votes for the merger and 3 abstentions.
The rejection was overwhelming. There was a lot of anger in the room about the lack of consultation.
The room overflowed and some residents even had to remain outside as they couldn’t get in the room.
Residents discussed the real reasons for the merger – that NHH and Genesis want to fund the building of more ‘out-of-reach’ homes. This debt will be paid for by the residents of the new merged organisation, robbing the poor to house the rich.
NHH builds less than 10% of its homes for the community, while Genesis claims in its 2015/2016 financial report that it will complete only 8 low rent homes in 2017 and none in 2018. Meanwhile, inner London HA homes stand empty, awaiting sale.�
Residents concerns about the merger include: the destruction of communities, danger to tenures, the timing of the decision (so soon after the Grenfell tragedy), increased de-regulation of housing associations, the likely drop in quality of services, the poor reputation of Genesis. Residents also raised the danger to social housing through massive rent increases, the sale of existing homes and ‘converting’ to higher rents on relet.
Residents heard that ‘the consultation’ was merely spin and they had only until 20 August to make our views known. This is why the meeting had to be organised quickly.
A volunteer committee was formed and will take action forward. The meeting decided on a list of actions. We will campaign against the merger, talk to sympathetic MPs, go to the media, take legal action and protest outside of Notting Hill Housing and Genesis offices. We need volunteers to help in this campaign against the merger – so please join us, to save your communities!
Kensington MP, Emma Dent Coad, also a Notting Hill Housing resident, was at the meeting. She promised her full support and help.
A further meeting will be organised in two weeks. Because NHH’s and Genesis’ so-called residents’ ‘consultation period’ ends on 20th August, the new volunteer committee will be writing to Kate Davies immediately. We will be handing in the letter to Kate Davies at the NHH offices in Hammersmith on Monday (21 August) from 8:30 to 9:00 then later they will be a protest:
Protest outside the Hammersmith office of NHH on
Monday 21 August from 5:00 to 6:00 pm
Notting Hill Housing, 1 Sussex Place, Hammersmith, W6 9EA
Please bring placards with your own slogans
Come to support this protest against the merger!
This is just around the corner from Hammersmith Tube, under the flyover